NABH Comments on Rise in U.S. Suicide Rates
NABH issued a news release about the need for wider access to behavioral healthcare services in the United States after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reported this week that suicide rates have increased in nearly every state from 1999 to 2016.
The CDC’s report was released days after designer Kate Spade, 55, died by suicide at her home in New York, and a day before it was reported that celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain, 61, died by suicide in France.
“Our country has faced a difficult week filled with very sad news and grim statistics,” NABH President and CEO Mark Covall said in the news release. “We know that with suicide, hope lies in effective mental health and substance use disorder services—at inpatient psychiatric hospitals, residential treatment facilities, addiction treatment centers, and outpatient settings.”
According to the CDC, suicide is a leading cause of death in the United States, and nearly 45,000 people died by suicide in 2016. Overall, suicide rates increased by 25 percent across the country and rose more than 30 percent in half of the states since 1999.
The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) provides tools and resources through its Suicide Preventionpage and National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
As always, NABH appreciates the hard work of its members each day to care for people with mental health and substance use disorders. Please learn more from Mark Covall in his LinkedIn article about this week’s news and NABH’s advocacy efforts to widen access to behavioral healthcare services for people who need it.
National Governors Association Supports House Opioid Legislation
The nation’s governors this week sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) and House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) that supports several House bills to address the nation’s opioid crisis, including the IMD CARE Act.
“We ask that any bills considered by Congress ensure that federal strategies preserve state flexibility allowing governors to meet the specific needs of their state,” said the June 7 letter from the National Governors Association. “Governors need increased financial and technical support to address this crisis and we urge Congress to avoid burdensome requirements on state programs.”
On Friday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimated that enacting the IMD CARE Act would increase direct federal spending by $991 million between 2019 and 2028.
The bill—which NABH supports—would expand Medicaid coverage for people experiencing opioid use disorder who are in institutions for mental diseases, or IMDs, for up to 30 days per year. The House Energy and Commerce Committee passed the bill last month. In the upper chamber, the Senate Finance Committee will consider an opioid legislative package next week.
SAMHSA Names Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
In a letter to colleagues this week, Assistant Secretary for Mental Health and Substance Use Elinore McCance-Katz, MD, PhD announced that Capt. Chideha Ohuoha, MD, MPH, will join SAMHSA to lead the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment.
Since 2008, Ohuoha has been stationed at Fort Belvoir in Fairfax County, Va. as an officer in the U.S. Public Health Service. He has served as director of addiction medicine there since 2015.
“Capt. Ohuoha completed his psychiatric residency at St Elizabeth’s Hospital in Washington, D.C. and completed a three-year addiction psychiatry fellowship at NIMH,” McCance-Katz wrote to her staff, adding that Ohuoha earned a master’s degree in public health from Harvard. “Capt. Ohuoha’s experience in addiction psychiatry will be a great asset to SAMHSA and CSAT. His official start date here at SAMHSA will be June 11.”
Addiction Policy Forum Launches Resource Center to Address Opioid Crisis
Not-for-profit organization the Addiction Policy Forum (APF) this week launched the Addiction Resource Center—which features a phone line and online portal—to support the millions of Americans battling substance use disorder as well as their families.
The online portal is an interactive website intended to help individuals and families learn about substance use disorders and access help. The platform features a database of vetted local treatment providers and provides a self-assessment tool to help individuals develop a proposed action plan.
Meanwhile, the hotline—1-833-301-HELP (4357)—is available Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m. ET to provide confidential support and information about local treatment and recovery services.
Prepare Early for National Recovery Month in September
SAMHSA announced this week that its toolkit to prepare for National Recovery Month in September is now available.
Now in its 29th year, National Recovery Month is meant to promote awareness and understanding about mental and substance use disorders and to celebrate individuals living in recovery.
This year’s theme is Join the Voices for Recovery: Invest in health, Home, Purpose and Community, and more information—including SAMHSA’s toolkit—is available here.
For questions or comments about CEO Update, please contact Jessica Zigmond.